Wednesday, July 29, 2015

15 in '15 July Update

Another month down, another book read off the list. There's just one book left, I tried to read it this past week but between my grandma passing and this book being very descriptive I had a hard time concentrating so I ordered the audio book from the library to help me get through it. Normally I wouldn't go through all these measures to try and read a book but Dave's mom-mom really wants me to read it so we can talk about it together so I'm going to give it more effort. 

This month I finished The Great Gatsby

I can't believe it took me this long in life to read it. I normally am not a fan of classic books but I really enjoyed this one. Not only was it a quick read but the story was very interesting and timeless. It was neat to see how the 20s were portrayed but also to see how the story could still be relevant in the present. This is definitely a must read if you haven't gotten around to it. 

Here's the complete list (links will go to the post that I wrote about the book):

I would love to hear about what you read this month!

I'm on Goodreads, if you'd lik
e to add me.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mom's Surprise Party

On Saturday, my family and I threw a surprise 50th party for my mom. My aunt, sister and I agreed that the party should have a hot pink and gold theme, since hot pink is my mom's favorite color and gold is normally associated with 50. We then created a secret board (no longer secret! haha) on Pinterest for ideas.

For the centerpiece we really liked these two pins: 

                                      Pin 1                                                                                     Pin 2

So we decided to mix the two and created these mason jar ombre glitter center pieces. I'm normally not a fan of glitter but I fell in love with these and even took one home to put on my desk at work. 

For the guest book, we really liked this pin

So we recreated it, Dave cut a hole in the top of a shadow box for guests to put the heart in and I created the sign on picmonkey and used Snapfish to print the sign. My aunt painted the 5 and 0 in gold paint and glued it to the frame. 

We really liked the simplicity of the cake in this pin

so we decide to stay with that same general idea but make the frosting ombre and my aunt purchased a very simple but elegant cake topper for the cake:

There were a few extra touches like gold and pink plates, napkins, silverware, cups and straws. 

I think the biggest surprise of the night for my mom was the quilt that I made for her with the help of family and friends. I asked several family and friends to give me a shirt that would be symbolic of their relationship to my mom or would represent themselves so I could make a t-shirt quilt for her. I was so excited to give her the quilt, it was hard for me not to drag her over the the gift table the moment she walked in the door. 

My mom is normally the huge party planner (check out her work from my grad party here) so it was tough carrying out a party at this level without her but the hard work definitely paid off. My mom was very surprised and she definitely deserved a party of this caliber. Happy birthday ma!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Applesauce and Cottage Cheese

It's hard to write any kind of post that would even begin to scratch the surface of how wonderful my grandmother was. 

She was everyone's grandma, even though she had 25 of her own grandkids and another 21 great grandkids, she always had room for one more. That meant she'd holler at you too if you deserved it. But it also meant that her door was always open to you and that she'd listen to your woes and offer up her advice. 

I was lucky enough to have grown up with my grandma, for the most part, living right up the street from me. At 4 or 5 years old, I'd make the quick trek up the hill to grandma's house, walk into front door, say hello to her and then set up shop  in the back room to play with the toys she had stored for us kids to play with. It was always her favorite story to tell everyone about me, how I was the quiet grandchild, the one she never had to worry about, how she'd call out my name every once in a while to make sure I was still there but left me to my own devices, just the way I liked it.

She would chuckle whenever we reminisced about the fact that dessert was cottage cheese and applesauce and how she'd get me to finish my dinner with the promise of the mixture. I still eat them together every once in a while, as a snack.  I prefer to eat my sandwiches with potato rolls as the bread because that's just how it was at grandmas. I always keep string cheese in my fridge, because growing up she always had some in hers and it was my favorite snack to go for. 

The one thing I loved the most about her, and would brag anytime the topic of her came up in conversation, was how progressive she was. It didn't matter what your choice in life was, my grandmother would love and accept you no matter what. I'll never know what my grandmother's true stance was on interracial marriages or homosexuality. If she had a problem with it, none of us knew about it. She felt that everyone's life was theirs to live and it wasn't her place to judge. 

I was lucky enough to have a good conversation with my grandmother before she went into the hospital. We talked about my miscarriages, about how in time it would happen and that Dave and I would be great parents. It's comforting to think that maybe somewhere up there she's holding the little ones that I never got to, and that they get to see just how incredible of a grandma she is. 

I was looking through pictures with my cousin of her the other day and for the first time in my life I got to see what my grandmother looked like before she was "grandma". It made me sad to think that I'll never know what kind of music she enjoyed, what her favorite color was, what her own mother/grandmother was like. 

Today I have to say goodbye to the one woman I thought would outlive us all. I'm going to miss her so much.  


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What I Read in the Past Month

This is my first time participating in Steph and Jana's "Show Us Your Books" post because normally I only read one book a month and if I read more it's normally books from my yearly reading list and there isn't much to talk about. This month, however, I read, or attempted to read, quite a few books so I decided to participate!

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan - I buy all these books the minute they come out in October...and then let them sit. Which means this book has been sitting for about 3 years, I'm glad I let it sit though because it ended on a good cliffhanger and I take some comfort in knowing I have the other two books on my shelf ready to be read. 

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris - Okay, so I kinda cheated here. I didn't "read" the book per se, I listened to it via book on CD, but I still count it. This book was okay, it wasn't something I was super excited to listen to on my way to and from work but I also wasn't wishing it was over either.  

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers -  I cheated on this one too. It was also an audio book and I didn't finish it. The shrill British voice of the woman reading the story probably didn't help. 

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller -  Another cheat, I figured I'd get them all out of the way now. I couldn't finish this either. The book was all over the place and hard for me to follow. It may be a classic to some but I just couldn't get into it at all. 

The Little Prince by Antoine De Sainte-Exupery -  If I'm being honest, I found this book a little weird. I can understand why some people would relate to the message in the book, though. A quick read, it doesn't hurt to pick it up and see if it resonates with you. 

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom -  Another quick read, this one also had a deeper message within the book.  The message didn't resonate much with me either but I did enjoy the story that went with it. 

What did you read this month? 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Random Thought

I think of ridiculously random things sometimes. Like the other day when I hopped into my car to run errands on my lunch break. I had parked underneath a tree so I had a few bugs crawling on the car when I went to go get in. One of the bugs was an ant that was crawling on my windshield. I figured once I started moving it would fly off versus me trying to swipe it off and potentially crushing it with my hand. 

However, that wasn't the case. The little ant stayed on my windshield until I made it to the local shops I was stopping at, about 10 minutes away for me, and a million miles away for that little ant. That lead to the question of the day: what happens to an ant that gets separated from its colony? 

The sad answer is that it's pretty much doomed to die, unless it's the queen. Here's more info from an article I found on Huffington Post

The first option: without the chemical trail to go back home, the worker ant is doomed. It could eat and survive on its own, sure, but why? It lost its purpose in life. It cannot reproduce or start a new colony. It will keep walking until it finds its nest or dies ... and the latter is very likely. An ant protected by other ants, especially soldiers, is one of an army. An ant by itself is a light snack. Also, if the night is too cold, the ant will freeze without the relative warmth of the nest.

What if it meets another colony of the same species? It depends: sometimes it will get lucky and be accepted, but more likely it will be killed. Each colony has a unique "passport pheromone" on all ants in the nest, allowing the ants to smell if another ant is family or an invader. Whether these pheromones are nest- or just species-specific likely varies among the ant world.
I'm not going to lie. I feel kinda bad, but random question of the day has been answered!

Happy Monday friends!